• BaliPure, Perlas-BanKo dispute semis playoff

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    BaliPure and Perlas-BanKo square off today in a key match for at least a playoff for the last semifinal berth as the Final Four race heats up in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

    BaliPure’s Risa Sato goes one-on-one against Mae Antipuesto of Air Force as she unloads a kill during their PVL Open Conference encounter at the Filoil Center. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    The Water Defenders, runners-up to the Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors in the recent Reinforced Conference, face a must-win outing against the Perlas Spikers after a roller-coaster win-loss-win-loss ride midway through the single round elims of the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

    They remain at fourth but the Perlas Spikers are just a shade behind at 2-3, wheeling back into contention with a four-set victory over the UP Lady Maroons last Wednesday.

    That makes their 4 p.m. duel a match to watch with BaliPure coach Roger Gorayeb expected to go through his main core led by Grethcel Soltones, Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas, Jerrili Malabanan and ace playmaker Jasmine Nabor.

    But Perlas-BanKo mentor Nai Muhammad remains hopeful of his wards backdoor bid with former UP stalwarts Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon tipped to sustain their form along with veteran Sue Roces and Ella de Jesus along with top setter Jem Ferrer.

    Meanwhile, semifinalist Creamline tries to extend its win run to six as it plays back-to-back wall UP in the 6:30 p.m. main game.

    Despite their 1-4 card, the Lady Maroons, along with the idle Power Smashers, still have a mathematical chance to force a playoff for the last Final Four seat with a sweep of their last two games and hope that two from Air Force, Pocari, Perlas-BanKo and BaliPure won’t over three wins.

    Mega Builders also seeks a sixth win in row against Sta. Elena at 10 a.m. in the first of two matches in the men’s side of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics.

    Cignal tries to recover from its setback to Mega Builders as it battles Air Force in a duel of title contenders at 1 p.m.

    All matches can be viewed via livestream on www.sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/pvl.

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